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Internet Explorer The Internet Microsoft IT

Internet Explorer 6 Will Not Die 531

Posted by timothy
from the when-undead-is-a-compliment dept.
caffeinejolt writes "Despite all the hype surrounding new browsers being released pushing the limits of what can be done on the Web, Firefox 3 has only this past month overtaken IE6. Furthermore, if you take the previous report and snap on the Corporate America filter, IE6 rules the roost and shows no signs of leaving anytime soon. Sorry web developers, for those of you who thought the ugly hacks would soon be over, it appears they will linger on for quite a bit — especially if you develop for business sites."
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Internet Explorer 6 Will Not Die

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:01AM (#28181467) Journal

    Sorry web developers, for those of you who thought the ugly hacks would soon be over, it appears they will linger on for quite a bit -- especially if you develop for business sites.

    Yeah, IE6 is the herpes of the internet. It appears to be gone after heavy medication but if you look under the first layer of skin, there it is.

    Oh, and I should point out another untimely mark of IE6: we've all made this hilariously fugly hacks to make crap work in IE6 at some point and those relics of the last millennium are still out there. Which means that browsers still have to support the old rendering ways of IE6. Yes, the doctype [w3.org] will tell the browser what standards to use but I'm betting that the support for rendering HTML 4 is just as annoying as having to patch up old struts 1.x applications and read through nested tables galore in the HTML.

    And we all know that 90% of the work out there for developers is maintenance. What a painful irrepressible memory ...

    • Oh, and I should point out another untimely mark of IE6: we've all made this hilariously fugly hacks to make crap work in IE6 at some point and those relics of the last millennium are still out there. Which means that browsers still have to support the old rendering ways of IE6.

      Or maybe we can just ignore that crap, start designing according to standards, and get this fucking mess finally cleaned up.

      In the old days, if you pissed off those with IE6, you lost 90% of your viewers. Now it's totally different. Even IE8 respects standards now.

      Let's write off IE6 as obsolete and force those users to upgrade.

      • by Bashae (1250564) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:25AM (#28181859)

        I'm a web developer and I'm already doing that. However, people from certain areas of business may have the majority of their users still visiting through IE6. When that happens, your only choices are either to support IE6 or not to work for that client.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by alta (1263)

          I agree, so for those of us who can work to kill it off, we should.

          We got your back! You keep programming for IE6 because you have to. The rest of us will just use the headers to redirect them to chrome.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833)

          When that happens, your only choices are either to support IE6 or not to work for that client.

          Advocacy goes a long way. The majority of people heading IT departments are reasonable people that can be talked to. In fact, they probably already share your view. It's not going to hurt to advocate to the decision makers in the company why they need to switch away from IE6, including the point that if they delay a switch not only are they going to have to switch anyway in the future, but until they do they're going to be left behind. It's pretty easy with all the other browser choices to illustrate wh

      • by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:27AM (#28181913) Homepage

        It's not quite that easy.

        We're forced to use IE6 at work - Mainly because IT understands the security risks (significant, but understood) and their web-apps are written to support it. Upgrading is too expensive expensive right now - Especially when the suits realize that we'll have to do it again later. Think of the brake-recall equation from Fight Club - The result is tragic, but real-world rather than ideal. So, IE6 endures...

        • by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:43AM (#28182197) Homepage Journal
          I know that you are simply repeating the excuse you have been given by your IT people, but they are smoking crack. The "understood" security risks are that using IE 6 to surf the web is probably the most efficient way to funnel malware into the Norton AntiVirus malware collection system. The real truth in most of these companies, if you scratch the surface, is that they have a mountain of HTML code for internal custom applications which assumed all the flaws in IE6, and they don't have a budget, nor a plan, for updating those apps. If you're the CIO or CEO, demand a plan. If they can't produce one, fire them, and get people who know what they're doing.
          • by McFadden (809368) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:53AM (#28182373)
            I tend to take a less generous view. I think any IT department that can't figure out a strategy to upgrade IE6 is either useless or fucking lazy. I simply don't believe in this mythical "mountain of HTML code" that has so many problems that couldn't be fixed in a relatively short space of time by a competent professional.

            I've heard these kinds of excuses time and time again, and on every occasion I've asked the IT admin staff responsible to give me some solid examples of where the problems lie (i.e. actual apps/code that moving to IE7/8, Firefox, Chrome or whatever would break and couldn't be fixed within minutes). Never seen a single example yet. They don't even know because they don't have a clue.
            • by cml4524 (1520403) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:10AM (#28182679)

              I simply don't believe in this mythical "mountain of HTML code" that has so many problems that couldn't be fixed in a relatively short space of time by a competent professional.

              If I say I don't believe in you, will that make you disappear?

              I have one application sitting here right in front of me that is comprised of over 5618 files (about half of which are ASP or HTML) that were orginally built around IE5. When IE6 came out they broke. When IE7 came out, they broke. IE8 won't even render half the site.

              The people who were commissioned to build it were done and gone years before I started working here. I have no documentation, the code is laced with inline SQL, .HTCs, and, in some places, 7 or 8 layers of includes. The database is undocumented, I'm the only person in the company who understands any of it.

              COULD it be fixed? Yes. But it would take months for me to do it, and it would cost too much to hire someone else. Scrapping it and rebuilding it is the only viable option, but management spent a ton of money on this app and nobody will admit that it's a disaster and a $1 million+ mistake.

              Whether you admit it or not, a lot of early web code out there was written by a lot of people who never had any business being anywhere near the profession. It's not going away any time soon.

              • by FictionPimp (712802) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:33AM (#28183089) Homepage

                I suggest you find a new job. That is a time bomb. Any management who won't admit that in 5 years a important part of the business logic is not going to work. Microsoft is going to stop supplying security patches for IE6. It's a fact, at that point you are going to have to run a very insecure browser while you do what you are saying is too expensive to do. Only now you have even more risk then starting the project before it's an emergency.

                What happens when new hardware simply will not run XP and you have no choice?

                My company just went though this. Luckily they listened to me and were proactive. We had tons of PHP4 code, a lot of it incompatible with php5. I pointed out plans from several projects we use to drop PHP4 support and the fact PHP itself was getting ready to drop support.

                So we got approval to start the project. It took us 2 years of modest work in addition to our normal projects. We also made sure all new projects were fine with PHP5. While we were at it, we rewrote everything to conform to a standard that worked in all major browsers at the time IE6, firefox, and safari.

                We also came up with a unified plan for the future. Doing things like putting an end to little access databases and random mysql servers. Unifying that took even more work as we had to reverse engineer work from developers long gone.

                Now we have a very flexible framework to work in that allows us to quickly change directions as trends change in our field. Boss wants a site to work on his blackberry, no problem. He suddenly switches to an iPhone, again no problem. He goes bonkers and moves to linux, guess what, no problem.

            • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:31AM (#28183053)
              How about, the version of enterprise apps x,y,z,q, etc that we run are certified and supported running in IE6 with ActiveX controls a,b,c,d,l,m. We have a strategy of moving to the current version of those apps over then next N years as we reach the current systems end of life (which may be extended from the originally planned EOL by the lack of capital for the replacement systems). The only possible strategy for us would be to move to Firefox for general web browsing but that requires significant additional effort and buy-in from the users. Sorry but I'll use my limited resources and political capital for projects that make sense to me and the business, not to make some web developers life easier.
              • by DisKurzion (662299) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @01:43PM (#28184987)

                Sorry but I'll use my limited resources and political capital for projects that make sense to me and the business, not to make some web developers life easier.

                Here's some business sense for you:

                Business is all about minimizing risk. By trying to minimize current costs, you could end up spending a lot more in the long run simply because you're increasing the risk (in the form of increased damages, or increased likelihood of happening). Is it better to have a small staff work on training and upgrading a new system now, so that you are prepared to switch over quickly, or to have your entire IT staff cleaning up a mess because one of your employees visited an exploit site?

                The only possible strategy for us would be to move to Firefox for general web browsing but that requires significant additional effort and buy-in from the users.

                Seriously? Significant effort? I've got your strategy right here:

                1. Lock down IE6 to only be usable with your enterprise applications, making it unusable for any other web browsing. (A proxy setting would make this trivial)

                2. Install $BROWSER.

                3. Send email to users, stating web browsing will no longer be possible in IE6, and they must use $BROWSER. If they don't like it, too fucking bad. There are plenty of qualified people looking for jobs that could do what they do for less pay.

                Total effort required:
                1 hour for a system admin to make a group policy change to IE.
                Deploy Firefox (only hard if you don't have any sort of remote installation)
                10 minutes to compose email.

                Savings: The risk that some idiot employee takes down your whole network due to an exploit for an unsupported browser.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by remmelt (837671)

            YEAH! That only leaves the problem of not having a budget.

          • by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:10AM (#28182683) Homepage

            The "understood" security risks are that using IE 6 to surf the web is probably the most efficient way to funnel malware into the Norton AntiVirus malware collection system.

            You're only half-way there. "Understood risks" can be explained up the chain. Other risks can not. If you have no funding to document risks in new software, you can't pass them up for approval. In the corporate world, that's fine - You only need to get it past your CIO.

            In the government world, it means you need to pony up for your IT staff to write up new security docs or live in an insecure (but approved) IT world. Ugly, but true.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Krneki (1192201)
          the solution is easy and an old one.

          IE6 for Intranet, Firefox + AdBlock for the Internet.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by s73v3r (963317)
          So do they plan on supporting IE6 forever? If they upgrade the web-apps to be standards compliant, then they really only have to upgrade once, and from there on it should be just a little bit of tweaking for the newer generations of browsers, if anything.
      • by netsavior (627338) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:48AM (#28182293)
        Most of us do not get to pick our customers, and cannot afford to give the middle finger to a very large potential customer base.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JCSoRocks (1142053)
        Our web application is geared exclusively toward huge corporate customers. Almost all of them continue to run IE6. I would kill to at least be able to get transparent PNG's to finally work. (Ugh). We push people to upgrade every chance we get, but when you're a vendor making an application that has to work on every desktop machine in their environment... you don't have much choice.

        I keep hoping that one day someone will release some brutal worm for IE6 that goes unpatched for months and forces everyone to
    • And I use to blame IE6 for making /. look like shit but then I go home and use Firefox and /. still looks like shit. It makes me wonder if there's any browser that will load up /. correctly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by diodeus (96408)

      "This site requires the Firefox plugin for IE6".

      I wish we could sneak in the back door.

  • by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:02AM (#28181479)

    This is simply fossil evidence that confirms it, kind of like a coelecanth.

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:04AM (#28181501)

    The reason IE 6 won't die is intranet applications that were coded specifically for IE 6 that corporations haven't bothered to make cross-browser. IE 7 (and presumably IE 8) breaks a lot of those sites.

    At my current job, we're not allowed to install IE 7 or 8, and don't have the administrator rights to do it. It sucks because as a web developer, I'd like nothing better than to see IE 6 die a quick death.

    • by thedonger (1317951) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:11AM (#28181619)

      I think there is an overwhelming amount of fear/misinformation among corporate IT and their seeming inability to allow IE6 to die. Fear of the unknown. And maybe a little laziness/love of the status quo.

      Two years ago a client of mine (a very large corporation) nearly shit when I set their web site to require 128-bit encryption. Apparently the law of the land forced IE6 and lower encryption for no other reason than it would be way too much work to move 50,000 people to a new standard.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ammit (1485755)
      Ha. The company I work for has just forked out over £900 for a broadband provisioning system. Boy does it SUCK. And the first thing it told me to do??? Use IE6. I have to therefore agree with the above statement. For a girl who loves Chrome despite the fact it can't do half the things I want it to yet... well, just someone kill IE6. IE full stop if possible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      This is especially true in the medical field (I'm looking at you Allscripts). You can use IE7, but it breaks the dictation function and a few of the other add-ins.
    • I hear you... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KingSkippus (799657) *

      At my current job, we're not allowed to install IE 7 or 8, and don't have the administrator rights to do it.

      Ditto. I did, however, install Firefox and use it as my default browser. Some corporate apps don't work (non-standard javascript, mainly), which is why I still have to open some stuff in IE. All of my stuff works in both, some of other people's stuff works in both, and whenever I'm goofing off reading Slashdot and such, I use Firefox.

      There is one guy that I work with, though, that insists on "codin

    • by Vu1turEMaN (1270774) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:48AM (#28182279)

      My favorite is Kintera's Site Designer. To use it, they require "Internet Explorer 5". Basically, only IE5 or 6 work with it. Their calendar-based addon popup completely crashes IE7 or 8, doesn't even come up in Firefox 1, 2 or 3, and Chrome justs doesn't even load the page.

      Yet for some reason, my organization is paying them 100k a year to manage a large non-profit's site! LOLOL!!!!!

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:34AM (#28183097)

      I'm in a similar situation. Our employees are stuck with IE6 because some internal app (not one I built!) won't support over IE6 (and definitely doesn't support Firefox). So I need IE6 to test internal pages. However, our external website is being browsed on by users with IE6, IE7, and Firefox. Firefox is no problem, that's my main browser anyway. But how do I upgrade to IE7 while still allowing myself the ability to see pages in IE6? Virtual machines are nice, but require me to "boot" a Windows instance just to test one page.

      Luckily, I found Xenocode's tool: http://www.xenocode.com/browsers/ [xenocode.com] Their program loads a virtual instance of the browser so now I'm running IE6 (native), Firefox (native), IE7 (virtual), and IE8 (virtual). I can have all of my windows open at once and cycle through the browser versions as I make changes to the pages. It's a lifesaver (and free to boot).

  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:04AM (#28181509)

    Pay attention to your own news site, CmdrTaco!
    Though this is a site for nerds, that doesn't mean that everyone has abandoned IE, or is at least running the latest incarnation thereof. Some of us, for various reasons, are pretty much stuck with using IE6 for browsing /. and are faced with a pile of mis-rendered & incompatible pages (I'm thinking the user account page in particular). We appreciate having /. optimized for FireFox, but would also like such consideration for the more-used IE6 browser.

  • It's up to you! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:04AM (#28181511) Homepage

    Yes, you web developers. You need to explicitly stop supporting IE6. Give IE6 users a strong warning that IE6 is completely unsupported and not recommended for use, much like Game! [wittyrpg.com] has since about 2005.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't know about that. When it dips consistently below 5%, maybe.

      What I do though is I generally use the IE6 specific conditional header stuff to grab some css and js and make everything functional but, generally, it's a lesser experience. A lot of the eye candy is stripped and certain things just aren't as nice. It works, and it requires a lot less time than making everything work perfectly and match perfectly. That way I'm free to do fun stuff on the newer browsers and still have functionality on IE6. (

  • by xgr3gx (1068984) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:06AM (#28181531) Homepage Journal
    And IE6 will go away quickly.
    Stop doing the hacks, and let IE6 render them ugly and broken, while compliant browsers will render them correctly.
    • by jDeepbeep (913892) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:15AM (#28181671)

      Stop doing the hacks, and let IE6 render them ugly and broken, while compliant browsers will render them correctly.

      Consider that many users will not realize it is their browser. They will simply decide your site is screwed up, and leave promptly. This is not a mistake to be eager to make in many scenarios.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:15AM (#28181683) Journal
      And scare away 50% of potential consumers because of a "broken website" ?
    • by thedonger (1317951) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:17AM (#28181709)

      Stop doing the hacks, and let IE6 render them ugly and broken...

      A semantically-coded site should render acceptably, unless you are using tons of nested DIVs and crazy CSS/image methods to make a site act like something it wasn't meant to be.

      Part of the problem is unrealistic expectations of users and overzealous developers. Are your rounded corners in IE worth non-semantic, difficult to maintain mark up, with poor cross-browser and legacy-browser support?

    • Stop writing ugly hacks for IE6.... And IE6 will go away quickly.

      ...and so will your job.

      It doesn't matter that getting rid of IE6 is a good idea and this is a good ay to do it. If your job is to write websites for a company and your pages are ugly/unnavigatable/non-functioning for 40% of that companies customers, then you are not doing your job.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by adamchou (993073)

        Not necessarily. Your job is to consult the client in what is best for them. I've had certain situations where a client wanted some specific fancy AJAX functionality that would have been to costly or impossible to build for IE6. In those situations, its your job to present to them the situation and let them decided upon it.

        Of course, I'm slightly biased so when I presented it to them, I helped them understand why the functionality was important to the site and why IE6 would not be worth building support f

  • in-house apps (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:07AM (#28181535) Homepage

    IT departments have no budgets right now. Testing all the in-house apps with IE8 would cost money. Even telling people to press the "render in IE6 mode" button would be quite expensive in terms of calls. So they're just blocking the update.

    • Re:in-house apps (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wolrahnaes (632574) <(sean) (at) (seanharlow.info)> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:40AM (#28182141) Homepage Journal

      They don't even have to do that, IE8 has a list of incompatible sites which can have updates forced to it through AD. Corporate IT puts the entire intranet zone in that list, pushes it out, and magic, everyone can use IE8 and have it render their broken-ass webpages designed by retarded fucksticks (yes I do have major anger issues against anyone building with IE6 as a target). Individual apps can be checked out by IT and/or adventurous users one by one and moved off the list if it works in IE8 mode.

      I'm a believer in standards compliance with graceful failure. Write it for proper browsers, then do the absolute bare minimum to make it usable in the shitholes of the internet. If you can, place a notification on those pages explaining their experience is not optimal due to them or their IT department not clicking the goddamn update button. They don't get the nifty stuff, but they get a working site and encouragement to solve the problem thus making the internet better for the rest of us.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Phroggy (441)

        IE8 doesn't have a "render like IE6 would" option; it only has a "render like IE7 would" option. If companies are still forcing IE6, it's quite possible that their intranet sites don't work in IE7, which means IE8's compatibility mode won't work either.

        Also, I've heard that there are some things that work in IE7 that don't work in IE8's IE7 compatibility mode. I haven't been doing web development for awhile, so I don't know what things these might be.

  • The summary may be technically accurate, but the point is off. IE6 is dying, quickly. If you happen to develop for it in a corporate context, it really isn't that bad because you are targeting IE6, and *only* IE6. What really hurts is developing for modern browsers, and then having to retrofit IE6, which we can safely say is a thing of the past.
  • by mini me (132455) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:09AM (#28181583)

    Just because it has users doesn't mean that you have to support it. Internet Explorer quickly rose in popularity in the first place because web developers blatantly stopped supporting Netscape, even though it had the majority market share at the time.

    Futhermore, the thing to realize about IE6 users is that they do not care about the web. They don't care that your website has pixel-perfect accuracy, for instance. So why waste your time optimizing your website for their benefit? The natural degradation designed into the HTML specifications still allows them to access the content in a limited fashion. That is all that they want. If they wanted to see more, they wouldn't use IE6.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The natural degradation designed into the HTML specifications still allows them to access the content in a limited fashion. That is all that they want. If they wanted to see more, they wouldn't use IE6.

      One of the bigger problems I have with IE6 is that when you wrap major content blocks in DIVs and float your content to position it, IE6 will sometimes throw weird bugs where only half the DIV will show... but when you refresh, a little more of it will appear... or sometimes less. Mostly these bugs seem to be "peek-a-boo" problems, and work-arounds are often fairly straight forward but can on occasion take hours to fix!

      Other IE6 crimes include doubling margin sizes; this one isn't too hard to workaround,

  • Stop support (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The only way to kill IE6 is to stop supporting it and clearly stating "If you can't see this page properly please update your browser".

  • The end will come when developers simply decide it's not worth jumping through hoops for an antiquated browser and IT departments in corporate America are flooded with calls of "this site won't work - what's wrong with my browser" thereby forcing IT departments to get with the program and update the browsers on their networks. Until then, why should an IT department invest any time and effort into updating the browsers on their systems? The kicker is all that it will take is one major website to take the bo
  • Businesses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:14AM (#28181667) Homepage

    Businesses often stay about one version behind on Microsoft products, or in some cases about a half cycle behind. They wait for a given MS product to get service packed out the wazoo before deploying it.

    For example, my employer is just starting to roll out Office 2007 very slowly, and based on my experiences and many other reports, this is typical at most businesses.

    Similarly, they are just rolling out IE7 now, when IE8 just came out.

    So it's not surprising that IE6 still has a major deployment base considering that IE8 just came out and that many companies stay about one revision behind.


  • if(window.XMLHttpRequest){ //proceed as normal
            }
    else
            {
            if(window.ActiveXObject){
                    document.write "Error 404 Page Not Found"
                    }
            }

    i haven't had any problems with ie6 since i implemented this holistic approach

  • I wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:17AM (#28181715) Journal

    Old crap tends to stay around, until something kills it.

    What if someone develops a html 5 webapp, using a speedy browser as a base that becomes a killer must have app? Then MS will have no choice or be known as the OS vendor whose browser ain't good enough.

    MS isn't trying to limit IE for nothing, it hopes that nobody dares create a webapp that simply doesn't work under IE. Google has shown with Chrome they are thinking of pushing the envelope, wonder what they got in the pipeline that needs Chrome.

    IE6 will die when using it hurts the user. Personally, for private web-apps, ie ALL ie is dead. It is amazing what you can make a webapp do when IE support is dropped.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:21AM (#28181789)

    A company I work for dropped support for IE6 (not only but also because of my pressure) about a year ago. The impact was minimal. People who came to their page with an IE6 or earlier were asked to update, and they did. According to the logs, people who arrived at the page with an IE6 soon came back with IE7/8 or other browsers.

    Why?

    So far, it seems people don't frankly care what browser they're using. They're just using what they have. And they're usually quite willing to update to something "new and improved", they just don't know that it exists. Now, the average user that visits this client's page isn't too computer savvy (the company is in the adult education sector, the usual visitor of the page wants to be educated), and from the questionary I attached to the booking process nobody was really "annoyed" that they were asked to update. Many were actually happy to learn something new and "better" is out there for them.

    So don't be shy to tell your visitors "hey, there's some new browser out, you might wanna use it for a better browsing experience". People like it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sakdoctor (1087155)

      There should be an HTTP status code especially for this:

      HTTP/1.1 418 - Piss off, and come back when you have a proper browser.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by AndrewNeo (979708)
        But that'd just be one more thing IE6 wouldn't support, and you'd have to upgrade your browser for!
  • Netscape 4 again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tridus (79566) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:26AM (#28181889) Homepage

    The last time something like this happened, it was everybody wishing Netscape 4 would die. But it kept shambling across the Internet like a zombie for years.

    At this point, IE6 will die when the computers still using it get replaced.

  • by atfrase (879806) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:38AM (#28182101)
    There seems like a pretty clear free-market solution to this problem: developing sites that support IE6, with all the requisite hacks and workarounds, is harder. It takes longer, and should cost more. If developers just attach an appropriate premium to this extra work, businesses start having a financial incentive to stop demanding it.

    "Well boss, I got a quote for that intranet app we need developed, and it turns out our IE6 requirement adds 35% to the total cost." "Hrm.. and what's your estimate of the cost of migrating?" "Migrating would cost us more than the 35% on this one project. But looking a year or two out, paying that kind of premium on all future development contracts, switching is way cheaper, and will probably reduce IT expenses for security issues to boot." "Right. Start working on that."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chord.wav (599850)

      If a single small business site doesn't support IE6, nobody cares. What we need is to make a coalition of porn sites and make them stop supporting IE6. That should do it.

      BTW, I charged extra for IE6 support in one of my latest projects. As a result, I ended up doing just the back-end of the site, and some other guy did the front end. Which in this particular case, was a good thing. But YMMV depending on the project. It's a double edged sword so use this strategy carefully.

  • by Khopesh (112447) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:38AM (#28182109) Homepage Journal

    This is misrepresentative and a sign of false hope; IE has lost no ground to FF according to that chart:

    IE7 + IE6 + IE8 = 43.51 + 18.23 + 8.26 = 70.0% share
    FF3 + FF2 + FF1 = 18.58 + 1.45 + 0.17 = 20.2% share

    This is unchanged from the average (71.6% v 19.84%) or the oldest data in Dec '08 (70.8% v 20.8%).

    There is no growth here, just the obvious resistance to change in the corporate world, which will be more reflected in Windows (IE6) than anything else.

    .

    We'll only really see the demise if IE6 when the corporate world fully adopts the next OS, which would be Windows 7, a year or three after its first service pack (assuming MS plays it smart). That means we're stuck with IE6 for at least another 2-3 years.

    (Yes, I know that a large percentage of corporate deployments are still on Windows 2000. If they're moving to XP but aren't already too far along, it will hopefully be with IE7 or IE8, or even something else entirely.)

  • by AtomicInternet (1567987) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:39AM (#28182139) Homepage
    Think about this: if you have a legit copy of Windows XP you're HARASSED to upgrade to the latest version. If you have an illegal copy, you're either smart enough to ignore the harassment, or you constantly fail the required product validation before upgrading.

    I think this proliferation of IE6 is because it was the last upgrade that didn't require validation. It lives on through piracy, which also promotes insecure computers that don't have the latest updates.
    • by wastedlife (1319259) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:31AM (#28183057) Homepage Journal

      IE7 and 8 are not available for Windows 2000, which is still in use in a lot of companies. Also, most larger companies run WSUS to manage update deployment, this means they can selectively block updates that they do not want from being deployed. This includes IE7 and IE8.

      I'm sure some of the numbers are from piracy, but if you are smart enough to pirate Windows and evade detection, you are probably smart enough to use a more modern secure browser like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wastedlife (1319259)

        I just checked [lmgtfy.com] and it seems that Microsoft does not require validation for IE7 any longer. They do not prompt for validation to download the IE8 installer, but at only 16 MB it probably phones home to grab the rest during install which is something a Windows pirate would probably not want even if WGA is not required.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EvilIdler (21087)

      IE7 stopped requiring the validation at some point.

  • by dwheeler (321049) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:00AM (#28182501) Homepage Journal
    Go to www.end6.org [end6.org], download the little Javascript app, and apply it to your web site. Then, the first time the user goes to that site, they see a nag screen telling them to update their web browser. If they start seeing them on every site, they'll begin to get a clue.. while those whose companies will NOT allow change can at least get work done (it's not THEIR fault!). I installed in on my site, www.dwheeler.com [dwheeler.com], though in my case I complain about obsolete IE7 too.

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